Michael Lavorgna

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Michael Lavorgna  |  May 19, 2014
JDS Labs Standalone ODAC ($169 w/RCAs)

Here's what's in-house or en-route to AudioStream for review.

Michael Lavorgna  |  May 12, 2014

With all of the subtlety of a blunt instrument, South Park takes on illegal downloads in their inimitable fashion.

Michael Lavorgna  |  May 06, 2014
I had a friend over to hang out and listen to music. I know, what a strange idea! We shared both the center seat and my iPad which functioned as our remote, accessing my NAS-based music library. I happen to have a number of duplicate album titles since I own some recordings in CD-quality and higher resolutions. My friend was in the hot seat, in control of the remote, and he wanted to play another track from a recording we had listened to earlier from the lovely 24/96 download of Ella and Louis (HDtracks). This is one of those instances where two versions of the album exist and I had not marked either version with its resolution so there was no way for him to tell them apart. So he picked one, while not blindly, without knowing whether we would be hearing the CD-quality version or the HD version, and hit "Play".
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 05, 2014
Murfie offers an interesting twist on the marriage of CD collecting and ownership coupled with a streaming and download service delivering perhaps the best of both worlds. After all, one of the knocks against buying downloads is we don't really have ownership rights to them—we can't re-sell them. Murfie, founded by Matt Younkle and Preston Austin in 2011, aims to deliver high quality downloads and streams to members from CDs you actually own—a service that combines the convenience of the cloud, with the permanence of collecting.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 29, 2014
My pulse raced when I saw Damon Albarn's new album Everyday Robot available as a "HD Digital Album" on the Warner Music Store website. Not because I'm a fan of Damon Albarn, not that I'm not, rather the simple discovery of a HD download offering on a major label's website warmed my heart. I'd imagine your heart does in fact warm if your pulse races but if I'm wrong I'm really just trying to convey my excitement over the adoption of HD downloads by a major. Which ain't minor for us music lovers who also appreciate better sound quality.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 28, 2014
LH Labs Geek Out 1000 DAC ($299)

Here's what's in-house or en-route to AudioStream for review.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 25, 2014
We'll be taking care of some back-end business tomorrow morning, Saturday April 26, from approximately 6:00am - 8:00am (EST) during which time AudioStream will be off line.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 23, 2014
In an article in The Guardian titled, "Pono: only a man pays for music quality that he can't hear", author Charles Arthur, the Guardian's technology editor, states in no uncertain terms that "...44.1kHz, 16-bit audio sampling is good enough to reproduce any music." Arthur reminds us of the Nyquist-Shannon theorem, a "neat piece of maths", which he feels tells us just about all we need to know regarding sampling rates and digital music reproduction. As far as bit depth goes, "It's possible, if you're a mad-keen audiophile, to get 24-bit audio mixes – but they aren't cheap. And it's highly unlikely that in a blind test you would hear the difference." That's it, case closed according to Mr. Arthur. I say, not so fast.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 19, 2014
It's a beautiful day to get out and about and pop in to your favorite record shop! Happy hunting! Record Store Day Special Releases.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 17, 2014
I have a love/hate relationship with streaming services. OK, to come clean I mostly don't enjoy them. I find streaming services restrictive and narrow in the music they present to me according to their notion of my taste. I grow impatient with the "learning process" and I also enjoy hearing music I don't necessarily like. I enjoy being challenged musically which is something I find DJ's do on a regular basis. You know, people. Some days being presented with an endless stream of familiarity is enough to make me want to disconnect from the warm embrace of the coded curated for good. I've long been meaning to examine these distastes but that project keeps getting put off. Thankfully, Eric Harvey has written a wonderful, thorough, and thought provoking essay on streaming music and its available to all on the Pitchfork website.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 15, 2014
A team of Japanese roboticists from the University of Tokyo built a band of robots, Z-Machines, consisting of a guitarist with 78 fingers, a drummer with 22 arms, and a keyboardist that shoots green lasers to activate his keys. Then Z-Machines musical producer, Kenjiro Matsuo, asked a number of musicians to compose music for their band. Tom Jenkinson, aka Squarepusher, gladly took up the challenge and the result is his new EP, Music for Robots recently released on Warp Records.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 24, 2014
Fujitsu Ten Eclipse TD-M1 Wireless Speaker System ($1,300)

Here's what's in-house or en-route to AudioStream for review.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 18, 2014
Before our interviews with Neil Young, and I say "our" because there was a small army of "us", we were treated to some tunes with the PonoPlayer as source playing some PonoMusic. In a front room sat two players leashed to Sennheiser Momentum headphones while a back room housed a lovely simple system consisting of a PonoPlayer and an Ayre AX-5 integrated amp driving a pair of TAD Compact Reference CR1 loudspeakers.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 17, 2014
Weyes Blood

With over 2,200 bands performing on over 100 stages for five days and nights straight, navigating SXSW along with a few hundred thousand or so other music lovers to see what you want to see, eat a sit down meal, and get some sleep takes military-like precision planning. Or, you can just wander from bar to bar on 6th Street and its environs and hope for the best, come what may. With Stereophile's Music Editor Robert Baird acting as my guide, his 28+ years of SXSW experience helped shape this into one magical musical tour.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 13, 2014
Photo Credit: Danny Clinch

It should come as no surprise at this point that Neil Young was at SXSW to talk about Pono. I had the opportunity to spend some time talking to Neil Young about his new venture.